The George L. Windmill: A Sketch of the Reconstructed Historical Landmark

Authored by Tiffany Sheppard

This drawing, sketched by Peggy Wroten in the summer of 1974, depicts the George L. Windmill located in Cambridge, Maryland. The windmill was reconstructed in the year 1972, after the original windmill was destroyed in a blizzard in March of 1888. The windmill was reconstructed at the original location on Gary’s Creek.

Artist Peggy Wroten, born in the year 1944, spent a majority of her life in the Neck District of Cambridge, Maryland. (Wroten 2022). Peggy enjoyed drawing for fun in primary school, and knew she had something special when children in school would ask her to draw pictures for them (Wroten 2022). Wroten credits God for her artistic abilities, stating that her “talent is a God given gift” (Wroten 2022). Peggy Wroten would go on to create many works of art including award winning duck carvings, and paintings of waterfowl and other historical landmarks such as Old Trinity Church and Blackwater Refuge, both located near Church Creek, Maryland. Mrs. Wroten also illustrated two children’s books titled The Parable of the Birds, written by Peggy Mayers Litschert and published in 2004, and We’re All Special, written by Joyce Taylor Dennis and published in 2009.

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Alabama Assistant Commissioner: A Freed man’s Dilemma

Authored by Lanisha LeBlanc

Written report of the assistant commissioner of Alabama written in October of 1866.

In the Year 1865, the amorphousness of America following the emancipation of enslaved people left those in power to determine what to do with the individuals whom it was no longer legal to exploit for free labor. Within this decision, the freedmen’s bureau was formed, which entailed providing necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing, for the Southerns displaced ensuing the new law of prohibiting the ownership of African people (United States Senate, n.d.).

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Setting a Precedent for American Aid; The Freedmen’s Bureau

Authored by Marion Ward

Registers and Letters Received by the Commissioner, Indexes and Registers, Register 14, Jan. 1–July 31, 1869.

On March 3, 1865, the War Department of the United States established the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands; it has since come to be known as the Freedmen’s Bureau (National Archives 2021). Facing the aftermath of the Civil War and the havoc it wreaked on the American economic system, President Andrew Johnson worked alongside Congress to create the Freedmen’s Bureau, which was a federal agency that was established for the purpose of promoting the social welfare of the recently freed population of enslaved African Americans (Hatfield 2020).

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The St. Francis Orphanage: A Light in the Darkness of Orphanages

Authored by Sorcha M. Smith

An account of previous resident, Josephine Snyder Krawczyk, of the former St. Francis Orphanage of Reading Pennsylvania visiting the premises now known as Francis Hall. Francis Hall now serves as the administration building for Alvernia University.

Birgitte Soland said it best about what comes to mind to many at the mention of orphanages; “Mention the word ‘orphanage,’ and for most of us the story of Oliver Twist comes to mind…pleading, ‘Please, sir, I want some more,’” (2015, 34). There are many people, historians, and also scholars who view orphanages in a negative light, and in some cases, they are quite validated with these assessments. For example, a study was done to measure the differences in adolescent emotional, social, and educational adjustment and development with the results revealing that those who lived in orphanages had quite some adjustment differences from those who lived with family members (Kaur and Chawla 2016). Life for children in orphanages could be rough with minimal food, arguably cruel staff, and ostracization from the surrounding community (Smith 1995). With some recounting the conditions of orphanages as “horrific” and children being taken from their homes to be treated as servants, many of these institutions are quite a dark spot in history (Timsit 2018, 3).

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A Full Circle:1929 Round Robin Map Relevant in 2022 

Authored by Raquel Parrilla

Reproduction of: Hinrichs, E.J. ©1929. Kew Gardens Round Robin Map. This is a Watermarked image of Kew Gardens Round Robin Map, perimeter has images representing local businesses, notable residents, and attempts at humor. [Courtesy of Roger Sabo as pictured in Images of America Kew Gardens by Carl Ballenas (2014) and copyright”
[For educational purposes only, if owner transferred original ownership please contact and it will be taken down.”]

The year 1929 when this Kew Gardens Round Robin map is copyrighted, ushered in not only the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., but also the Great Depression, and the Stock Market Crash. While the specifics of the origin of this map are obscure, its preservation and examination have importance to both Kew Gardens and U.S. history in general. Everard Jean Hinrichs was born 1905 in New York City and began his career as a sign painter and letterer before advancing to his well-known rural landscapes and paintings of clouds and sky (Smith 2010). He sought to preserve Americana, a way of life he felt had disappeared (McGill 1985). This ideal agrarian society was giving way to urbanization thanks to President Roosevelt’s New Deal (Yarce 2021). 

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Finding Freedom during the Reconstruction Era

Authored by Sarah Sporko

Ch. Rausenberg to Brvt. Capt. M. Frank Gallagher, September 30, 1868. Freedmen’s Bureau: Georgia Assistant Commissioner, Letters Received, Entered in Register 6, 2-672, Sept. 1868=Apr.1869, Part 1. Smithsonian Institution Transcription Center, Freedmen’s Bureau: Washington D.C.

In 1868, Ch. Raushenberg, an agent of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedman, and Abandoned Lands, also known as Freedmen’s Bureau, wrote a letter to the bureau reporting that two men, Lucius Lamar and Albert Jones, were questioned about a death of another man named Walker in Georgia. Both Lamar and Jones stated that Walker died from gunshot wounds in his chest after being harassed and threatened by a group of white men. Ch. Raushenberg forwarded this information to the Freedmen’s Bureau so the matter can be fully investigated and justice for Walker can be served. Letters such as the one written from Ch. Raushenberg, show how integral the Freedmen’s Bureau was during the transition from slavery to freedom during the Reconstruction Era of the United States (Mildred 1915, 67).

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First Lieutenant and General Superintendent F. R. Chase’s Letter to Captain William H. Sterling: An Insight into the Operations of the Freedmen’s Bureau’s Educational Department

Authored by Victoria Santamorena

1st Lieutenant & General Superintendent F. R. Chase to Captain William H. Sterling, 22 February 1867. Freedmen’s Bureau: Registers and Letters Received by the Commissioner, Letters Received, Entered in Register 9, W, Jan.- May 1867, Part 1. Smithsonian Institution Transcription Center, Freedmen’s Bureau, Washington, D.C.

On February 22, 1867, First Lieutenant and General Superintendent of Education in New Orleans, F. R. Chase, wrote to Captain William H. Sterling, the acting Adjunct General, reporting on difficulties in the Educational Department, which was overseen by the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (the Freedmen’s Bureau). Chase’s letter complains of one of the department’s agents, A. D. McCoy, who had a tendency to overstep the bounds of his position. McCoy claimed authority over the district’s schools and the teachers appointed to them. However, the Superintendent or the Assistant Commissioner were responsible for these duties (Trudeau 1978, 2-3). Complicating matters, McCoy was a former Confederate and seemed to value religious preaching above his obligations as an educator.

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Everyone Deserves a Seat at the Table: How Nintendo Addressed the Issue of Overlooked Gamers

Authored by Gabriel Fequiere Jr.

NES Hands Free Controller Overhead View. This view highlights the chin lever and sip and puff tube used to work the controller.

Video games are a massive social and economic force the world around, with an estimated 2.6 billion people worldwide playing (Cairns, Power, Barlet, and Haynes, 2019a). Games provide not only an escape but also a feeling of belonging to a community. This was especially true during the pandemic. The socialization provided by games allows players to decrease feelings of loneliness and anxiety and feel like part of a larger community at a time when staying socially distant was imperative. The gaming community is a rich world with shared experiences, pop culture, friendships, and events including conventions, meet-ups, and even Twitch streams, where people with similar interests can unite.

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Cass Hite: Murder or the Right to Self-Defense

Written around 1893, this document shows a plea for pardoning on behalf of Cass Hite along with signatures of various Utah territory citizens who supported it. More than one letter of this kind was written to then-Governor of the Utah Territory, Caleb W. West, in an attempt for a pardon to be made for Hite’s situation.

Authored by McKenzie Wood

On September 9, 1891, Cass Hite killed Adolf F. Kohler in the Green River Valley of the Utah Territory in self-defense. Despite this, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison. What followed were petitions, letters, and people asking one question: why?

The answer was complicated. Prosecutors in court claimed Hite killed Kohler out of anger after being called a coward (The People of the Territory of Utah vs. Cass Hite, n.d.). For Hite’s defense, Kohler shot first after Hite went to him to settle their differences without violence (Salt Lake Tribune 1892, 3). The court split when the first trial proceeded in February 1892. With no solid proof of either sides’ story besides bullet holes and a dead man, a he-said she-said predicament ensued. Witnesses contradicted each other on key points depending on which side they supported. “Ultimately,” says Knipmeyer, author of Hite’s biography, “[it] came down to which witnesses each member of the…jury believed” (Knipmeyer 2016, 147-148).

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Ike and Butch: A Cartoonist Preserves Memories

Authored by Catherine Torres

“The 847th had a reputation as a very musical unit, producing male-voice choirs and jazz bands. The famous newspaper cartoonist Giles often jammed with men from the Debach-based unit in local pubs. These are his drawings of two of the men who became his friends: Ike (the double bass player) and Butch. Their full names are not known.” Photo courtesy of Emily Charles, Curator of the American Air Museum in the Imperial War Museum, Cambridgeshire, England.

During World War II, US and British bombers participating in the Allied Aerial campaign operated out of airfields in Southeast England. Building the airfields was difficult; there were long hours and equipment shortages (Hartzer 2013). Like many servicemen and women, aviation engineers, those who built the airfields, did their part for the war effort, but unlike their peers, aviation engineers are not often memorialized. The reason? At the time, of the 157 American aviation engineer units, 48 of them were designated as “colored” (Hartzer 2013). 

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